I’ve finally finished my Hickory Chair Chelsea Bed… well at least half of it.
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you just couldn’t sleep at night? Welcome to my world. Our three-year old mattress sucks and we are not sleeping well.
Our mattress was terrible and had developed a huge hump in the middle. After over a year of trying to get the company to replace the mattress we finally gave up. I won’t name names but lets just say, their mattresses come highly recommended.
We decided to buy another queen size mattress because we already had a bed frame, had tons of queen sized linens and were naive newlyweds that believed we would always like snuggling in the cozy queen sized bed. It took only 3 years of marriage for that queen size bed to “wear off.”
For the sake of our marriage and our sanity,
IT WAS TIME TO UPGRADE TO A KING!
When we went to Hawaii last year, we spent almost two weeks sleeping on a luxury king size bed and it was AMAZING. It was the best sleep I’d had in two years. We’ve ordered our new mattress but we needed something to put the new mattress on.
If you remember, I’d decided on this Hickory Chair Chelsea Bed with its upholstered headboard and chunky solid wood frame.
The headboard is still in progress but the bed base is finished.
This bed is 100% customizable so it is handmade to order and only available through a dealer.
I checked a few of the high-end stores in my area and my desired customization would reign in at a whopping $2, 542 plus tax and delivery.
I set out to build the bed for less than $500.
I drew up my plans and headed to the lumberyard. I wanted the bed to be solid and strong so I chose dimensional lumber. If I’d used 3/4″ stock I would have cost more and the bed would not be as strong.
(4) 2 x 10 x 8′ S-P-F Construction Lumber
(1) 2 x 6 x 8′ S-P-F Construction Lumber
(2) 2 x 2 x 8′ Furring Strips or (1) 2 x 4 x 8′
(4) ¼ x 1- ¼ x 8′ Flat Lattice Wood (not pictured)
(1) Set of Surface Mount Bed Rail Brackets from Rockler
(1) Skorva Midbeam (Steel) from Ikea
(1) Box of 2 ½ “ Pocket Hole Screws
(1) Box 2 ½ “ SPAX self-drilling wood screws
Elmers Stainable Wood Filler (very important)
Elmers Stainable Wood Glue (very important)
I forgot to buy furring strips so I had to find a 2 x 4 in my scrap pile and rip it down to a 2 x 2. This was a happy mistake since 2 x 4’s will be much straighter than furring strips.
I also ran all of my 2 x 10’s and 2 x 6’s through the table saw to square off the edges and remove the mill finish.
Below is the cut list for a king sized bed frame. The average king mattress measures 76″w x 80″ l. To allow room for tucking the linens I added 3″ to the inside length of the bed and 2″ to the inside width of the bed.
The lumber yard did a great job of cutting my lumber so the only thing I needed to trim to length was the 2 x 6. I cut those all to 16″ long (the overall height of the bed frame).
Then I trimmed my 2 x 6 to exactly 5″ wide. Then from the same board, I cut 4 additional pieces at 7″ long. These will make my legs.
I cut a scrap 2 x 5 and created a template for the curve. I traced the profile onto all 8 of the boards. Making sure the clearest knot free sides would be visible once the bed was built.
Still using my $8 jigsaw, I cut them all out.
I saved the pieces I cut off of each piece of wood to use to make the curved out feet of the bed.
I clamped the legs together and sanded them smooth and even using the orbital sander.
I did a dry assembly to make sure the pieces were all the same size/length and that they fit together seamlessly.
As nice as the curved feet look, we decided against them. Reviewers made comments about stubbing their toes on the bed often. Could you imagine cursing your $2,500 bed every time you made it? I’ll pass.
Each corner got assigned letters so that everything would go back together exactly as planned. I also marked for my pocket holes.
When I join 2x lumber, I put pocket holes in both pieces to get a stronger joint.
Working on a flat sheet of MDF I clamped my joints down and added the screws.
I used wood glue on all surfaces being extra careful to wipe up any spills with a wet rag. For a flawless finish, use stainable wood glue.
When all the glue was dry, I filled any seams cracks or knots with stainable wood filler.
I also attached my furring strip to the bed rails. I placed them 1-1/2″ from the bottom of the rails and secured them with 2-1/2″ self tapping screws about every 7″.
I bought these Surface Mounted Keyhole Bed Rail Brackets from Rockler and attached them to the rails, head and foot board.
I used an assembly square to make sure everything was square then I attached the screws. After this step, I never took the brackets off again.
Remember that lattice wood I mentioned in the supply list? I added each piece while the bed was assembled so that they all will fit really tight and look almost seamless.
When dealing with all these different pieces, it gets difficult to tell one from another so once I disassembled the bed to begin the finishing process I numbered each corner. Remember these attached wood pieces, have to line up perfectly so numbering them is essential.
I don’t currently own a router so I had to sand the edges by hand to get that round over. I used my Cheap and Easy Sanding Blocks to bevel the corners of the lattice wood.
After lots of tedious sanding I was ready for stain. I wanted a deeper version of Early American so I mixed it with Dark Walnut to get that perfect color. Early American is my favorite and Rustoleum has discontinued the color. I had to drive to three different Lowes to buy up all the remaining cans. Luckily for me, they were all on clearance so it was a steal.
Although you can see the wood conditioner in the photo, I did not use it on this project. I’ve found that it does not work at all with this particular brand of stain. Water popping gives the best results.
I used a lambskin applicator pad to quickly apply the stain. I let it sit for 10 minutes and then gently wiped it off using smooth even strokes with an old cut up t-shirt.
It let things dry overnight. In the morning I was able to see things in a different light and the color wasn’t quite dark enough for me. I applied a second coat of stain that was significantly darker than the first coat. The final ratio ended up being 2 parts Early American to 1.5 parts Dark Walnut.
I tried hand rubbing the stain in to the edges but was unable to get a good feather because the stain dried too quickly. In the end I just hand applied the second coat wiping it off almost immediately.
The next day I was ready to seal the wood. Starting with the insides of the bed frame I applied my favorite water based polyurethane.
I used my 2-1/2″ Purdy brush to get the job done quickly and effortlessly.
The insides of the bed frame got 2 coats while the surfaces that would be visible and touched got 3 coats. I lightly sanded with a 320 grit sanding sponge before applying the last coat for a silky smooth finish.
I let everything dry for like 4 days before I had my muscle carry the four pieces upstairs into the bedroom.
This is a king sized bed and it needs king sized support so I purchased the Skorva Steel Midbeam from Ikea for the center support instead of using 2 x 4’s .
If I’ve learned anything in my years of buying Ikea furniture it’s that these things are strong. I used a level to install the midbeam at the same height as the side rails.
It’s not installed in the photo below but I’ve installed a center support foot underneath the steel midbeam.
And that’s it.
It doesn’t look all that amazing without its other necessary components but I can see it in my head and I’m thinking it’s going to be great.
The total cost for this frame was about $76.00 and that includes the $10 I spent on screws.
I’m sure that I missed something so please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you with answers asap!